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N-SSA Northwest Territory members help “Save the Flags”

Updated: Aug 6, 2023

Video by Allissa Weber - Article and still image by Bruce Miller.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Every year the unit commanders of the North-South Skirmish Association’s Northwest Territory (NWT) identify a historically-based organization and donate $1,000 to that cause. Past donations have gone to the Gettysburg Foundation, Civil War Trust and Detroit’s Historic Fort Wayne where many Michigan regiments were mustered into service. For 2023, the NWT again selected the State of Michigan’s Save the Flags project.

Based on unit seniority, NWT commanders selected a flag of the 4th Michigan Infantry for adoption. Those adopting flags are honored in a special ceremony. The State Director of the Save the Flags project, Matt Van Acker, attended the regional skirmish at Laingsburg on July 30. The 4th Michigan commander, Melissa Huntoon, was given a photograph of the adopted battle flag and a legislative tribute signed by both the Governor and Lieutenant Governor was presented to NWT Regional Commander Ed Walters. The NWT will again be added to the “Roll of Honor” plaque displayed in the flag exhibit area at the Michigan Historical Center at the capitol complex in Lansing. Previously, the NWT has adopted flags of the 5th and 24th Michigan Infantry regiments.

Save the Flags is Michigan’s project to preserve, research and display 240 battle flags carried by Michigan soldiers in the Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War I. One of the projects great successes has been its “adoption” program. For a donation of $1,000 individuals, families, organizations, schools and communities help with the preservation, research and display of the flags by “adopting” flags in the collection. To date, over 150 flags, mostly from the Civil War, have been adopted, providing the project with much needed funds. Adoptions also help preserve history by commemorating particular regiments and individuals. Adoptions are often made in the name of the original regiment which carried that flag into battle or adopted in the name of a veteran by his descendants.

Melissa Huntoon, Matt Van Acker, and Ed Walters
NWT Photo by Bruce Miller, 2023

NWT Regional Commander Ed Walters (right) displays a photo of the adopted battle flag of the 4th Michigan Infantry and Melissa Huntoon of the NWT unit accepts the Legislative Tribute. Both were presented by State Director of the Save the Flags project, Matt Van Acker (center), during the flag adoption ceremony at the skirmish at Laingsburg, Michigan on July 30, 2023.


Below is an image of the 4th Michigan flag that has been "saved" by this donation. You can see the image held in Ed Walters' hand, above.

4th Michigan flag; from the State of Michigan collection
4th Michigan flag; from the State of Michigan collection

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